Sunday, March 18, 2012


Rochester, N.Y.-- No matter how you slice it, making changes to New York's 90 year-old pension system offered Gov. Cuomo an opportunity to pay back his rich friends who have been writing him big checks to support his agenda-- all at the expense of New York's working class. 

He got that done by raping the pension system and giving them access to fees and commissions for the newly created 401(k) options for workers who make over 75 K. His argument that this is somehow a "win" for local government budgets is just plain nonsense. Everyone agrees that there are no immediate savings to implementing a Tier 6 plan-- Cuomo played politics with our retirement security and now we know exactly where he stands. He stands with his corporate friends and the Wall Street thieves who wreaked havoc on our economy a few short years ago. Despite his pathetic claims otherwise, Governor Cuomo values his relationships with CEO's, hedge fund managers and real estate developers more than the average taxpayer. 

We, the working families of New York are blue in the face justifying our righteousness. We know what will keep our economy growing-- by providing quality public services, by making sure the middle class has a decent living wage and a pension fund that can support our families when we retire. A strong middle class benefits everyone-- but Cuomo doesn't see it that way. 

We hate to say this, but New York has become just another Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio-- states where Governors  and the executive branch staff suffer from delusions of grandeur. It's defined by an overreach of power that we think most New Yorker's will eventually find very offensive. And, to think that Cuomo can reach in and grab 250 million dollars of education funding the legislature is more than capable of regulating is obscene and unethical. 

By instituting these changes in the pension system and holding the budget hostage in the process, Gov. Cuomo has created a lower standard of living for the hard working people of New York State. This outcome was less important than the political payback to the biggest banks and multi-national corporations who wanted all along to get a piece of the New York State Retirement System pension pie. 

Do not believe the governor's spin and rhetoric-- he has shown his true colors here. He played politics with our retirement security and this type of policy will continue until you step up and raise a little holy hell. Today we march, tomorrow we vote. You have to do something about taking control of your own financial future. If you leave it up to Governor Cuomo, your in for a bumpy ride.

-This op-ed is the opinion of the Voice Reporter and does not reflect the views of CSEA as an organization.

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